Red Wants Answers

Submitted by Blazefire on March 31st, 2010 at 7:34 PM

According to an article on MLive Red Berenson wants answers.

He freely admits in the article that it's mostly just sour grapes, but he says because he never received a good explanation, he thinks the rule does need to be qualified going forward. He is, evidently, going to work with the athletic department to get an explanation out of the NCAA.

My explanation? The ref was/is either a moron or a jackhole. He either made an insanely stupid mistake, or intentionally made the wrong call. We'll have to see how the NCAA goes with that one, because there can be no doubt that ONE of those is true.



March 31st, 2010 at 7:45 PM ^

It was a terrible call - all the worse when contrasted with Miami's second goal that could'be been blown dead but wasn't - but it was just one play. When the whole Thierry-Henry-handball-goal-against-Ireland thing was going on, I remember thinking, "if they were up 3-0, it wouldn't have mattered."

Similarly, we could have scored before and we could have scored after, or we could have won 5-2 in regulation. I'm not backing the ref here, but in the interest of philosophical consistency, I personally have made an effort to be understanding.


March 31st, 2010 at 7:54 PM ^

Good for Red for looking into this, but as somebody who has had season tickets to college hockey for the last 7 years (4 at Cornell, 3 here), these types of calls don't surprise me. I've seen at least 2-4 early whistles each season. The fact is that college refs seem to blow the whistle way to early when they lose sight of it for even a second. Unfortunately, it's not something that can be adjusted for - if the ref doesn't see the puck, they can't just let the players whack at the puck until it comes loose.

I hate the rule, it killed us this year, but there's not much that can be done to fix the rule.

Zone Left

March 31st, 2010 at 8:02 PM ^

Red wants answers? Red wants the truth!

Unfortunately, it is sour grapes, the best he can hope for is some NCAA instruction instructing refs to wait a couple beats on their whistles in a scrum.

the_big_house 500th

March 31st, 2010 at 8:12 PM ^

Red acted like a class act about it, he didn't throw anything, jump off the bench and attack the ref or even yell a curse at him. He is the classiest coach in college hockey and handled this situation the right way and I'm glad he's looking more into this because this game left a lot to be desired when it was all said and done! Your one of the best ones Red!

Mr. Robot

April 1st, 2010 at 12:06 AM ^

That you won that game clean then you are as delusional as that referee. No way that goal shouldn't have counted, ESPECIALLY after they let Miami's second one go. If they call that game both ways on the goal scoring alone, we win 2-1 or 3-2. Take your pick.

That doesn't even begin to account for how poorly the rest of the game was called. I was commenting on the slanted calling that night even when we were ahead. Against Bemidji we were able to overcome the poor officiating and put it in the bag late. Against Miami, it took overtime, and then when we got the win it was taken from us.

Why is Red the classiest coach in college hockey? Because he put up with all that without going ballistic. It takes a real class act to swallow being screwed out of a Frozen Four in your own back yard without punching someone in the face. If I had been the coach and the official came out of that box and signaled no goal, I'd be strolling out to center ice, giving him a piece of my mind, and pointing him back into that box to take another good hard look.

big gay heart

April 1st, 2010 at 12:48 AM ^

i don't use first person personal pronouns to describe teams i don't play for. you do, i guess.

and, whether the call was legit or not, the game is over and done with. i'm not here to offer any sort of moral justification for why the call was legitimate. it wasn't, but that's sports. as much as some of you armchair martyrs would like to make this about conspiracy theories and "god" hating michigan, a simple reality of sports (and life in general) is that people make mistakes. it sucks but writing 1,000 word dissertations on some sort of endemic, anti-michigan injustice isn't going to change anything. first world problems, you know?

as for berensen not flipping out, that's simply the sort of professionalism expected from people who are, well, professionals. berensen has probably seen bad calls before and knows he'll see them again. i'm willing to hazard a guess that he's even benefited from a bad call or two in his past.

more importantly, i think this board's constant need to subscribe to the michigan is the BEST at all things meme is sad. michigan is a good institution with some good sports programs, but the consistent use of superlative adjectives is infuriating. never
mind that most of these claims are unquantifiable (and sometimes very clearly dispelled by quantitative data), why does being the best really matter? isn't it good enough to be generally better then most and occasionally better than everyone?

anyway, carry on. i'll be rooting for my second rate school to win its ill-begotten frozen four game this weekend.

Mr. Robot

April 1st, 2010 at 1:49 AM ^

It is quite common to refer to one's sports teams in a sort of possessive way. Most people do not say "The team I cheer for", they say "My team", and I referred to Miami as yours with that common structure in mind. Granted that this is technically incorrect, but it is common, at least from my experience, so I do not feel bad about it.

Games I can think of off the top of my head that we've been screwed out of as a direct result of horrendous officiating:

Notre Dame 1-31-2009
Ohio State 2-21-2009
Air Force* 3-27-2009

Wisconsin^ 2-6-2010
Michigan State 1-29-2010
Notre Dame 2-27-2010
Miami Saturday

*The Air Force game is the only one of these that did not directly effect a +1/0/-1 goal deficit at the time of the blown call(s) I am thinking of. We were down to 2-0 in a game where Air Force's goalie was playing the game of his life, but I felt it necessary to include because what would have been our first goal of the game was called off in much similar fashion to that of the other night. The whistle was blown for a "lost puck" that was right in front of the crease with Caparusso wound up to fire it into a wide open net. On the replay, I could READ the officials lips saying "I lost the puck" to Caparusso. This would have made the game 2-1 in a game that ended up standing at 2-0, so it is the least likely of the list to actually have altered the eventual outcome.

It is also worth noting that we had a decent number of goals called off last season, however many of them were in games we ended up winning by a large margin. I have no video to know whether the call was correct on any of those, but it does go to show that having a goal called back is no rare occurrence for us. The ratio of goals reviewed, regardless of the eventual call, is also drastically higher for us from what games I have been to and listened to on the radio.

As for us and/or Red being the best, that is certainly a topic of debate. Generally speaking we consider ourselves to be awesome because we have more national championships, are probably at least top 5 in wins, and have a large number of other distinctions to our record. Many of these actually can be statistically compiled, which maybe I will try to do after finals.

Also, the Angry Michigan Hating _______ God/Satan is a joke. Nobody who has followed our programs this year can deny that we have had extremely unlucky occurrences this year, and it is our sarcastic way of categorizing it with no regard to whether fault lies with ourselves (Big Ten Basketball Tourney) or some other source (The Hockey Quarterfinal).

Also, I can think of only one instance in which we benefited from a questionable call. I do not know much about it, but it is to my understanding that some years ago now we got away with a tie against MSU because they had shot a puck straight through the back of the net, but on review the officials could not find a frame with the puck physically in the net and called the goal off as a result. I have only followed the hockey team as closely as the football team for about 4 years, so further back than that I am not familiar with any instances one way or another.

Maybe a more seasoned hockey veteran can help me out here? Any memories of games decided one way or another by the referee?

Monocle Smile

April 1st, 2010 at 2:08 AM ^

Firstly, you seem to take everything on this board waaaaay too seriously (like the memes). Relax, bro.

I would like to address merely one of your questions.

"why does being the best really matter?"

I could go on about this for hours, but I'll keep it short.

The idea of Michigan isn't about necessarily "being" the best, but holding ourselves to the standard of being the best. I've come to believe that Michigan men are defined by striving for perfection such that even when this glorious goal isn't reached, one's best efforts are still put forth due to the mindset of perfection. Striving to be "generally better than most" will land you in the world of below average. This is why we are Michigan.

Okay, enough chest-thumping and self-righteous shit. I rooted for Miami in the Frozen Four last year because they've never won an National Championship in anything. However, don't expect to say "go redhawks" on a Michigan board on a thread about a controversial game and not get negged, especially when you add a tom-foolish, taunting afterthought with an apparent typo.


March 31st, 2010 at 8:52 PM ^

blown whistles should be changed. Let me explain. From what I understand, a ref can review a goal (or non-goal), and if the he feels the goal should not count, he can say "I intended to blow the whistle and the goal does nor count." If this is true, then the ref conversely should also be able say, "I blew the whistle too early, it did not affect the fact that the goal would have been scored, and the goal should count. Unless I'm missing something. The reason they have video replays should be to get it "right". This is why it should be possible to override a blown whistle. This is why the rule should be changed.


March 31st, 2010 at 9:56 PM ^

I mentioned this in a previous thread, but my guess for the reason the rules are what they are (and why they won't change) is for the safety of the goalie: if you allow goals to count in some situations even after the whistle has blown, the whistle no longer protects the goalie: there's still incentive to hack at/charge the goalie because it might be allowed to count.

I think the "intended to blow the whistle" rule is to avoid mistakes: since so little time is allowed for hacking at the puck when it's frozen, a ref's mistake shouldn't allow this to happen--especially since, if anything, the ref's mistake will happen very infrequently but, when it does, there's a good chance it results in a goal, so it's a big mistake to allow.


April 1st, 2010 at 12:18 AM ^

Given that everyone hacks at the goalie (at least) until they (or the deaf man in row 57) hear a whistle anyway, what's wrong with a "forward motion" type rule? In other words, if a player is actively shooting the puck as the whistle blows, the shot should count. There's no way anyone reacts fast enough to a whistle to stop mid-wrister. Any hacks/goalie crashes initiated after the whistle don't count. Maintain current goalie interference rules. You expose the goalie to zero extra danger, and while you don't eliminate premature whistle-ation, you do mitigate its negative effects.

At the very worst, this might morph into a "one free hack" rule, but so what? Frankly, if the goalie's control of the puck can be dislodged by a single (non penalty worthy) hack, he doesn't have control of it and the whistle shouldn't be blowing anyway.

Is this rule subjective? Sure. But no more subjective than "distinct kicking motion", "interference", or "golly gee, I can't see the puck, guess I'll blow my whistle now". And it lets us use replay for what it's good at: getting a call *right*.


March 31st, 2010 at 10:07 PM ^

Does anyone know if Red has any performance bonuses written into his contract? I know it's a year by year thing, but I know, for instance, that most football HC contracts include bonuses for so many wins, bowl appearances, etcetera.

The time is coming, I think, when a coach takes a referee to court over a bad call. Could you blame them? I mean, say Red had it written in for a 50K bonus is he reaches the frozen four. That ref, all by himself, would've cost Red 50K. Shouldn't he have the right to address that in a court of law? If anybody else is wrongly prevented from compensation, they certainly have the right to sue.

Mr. Robot

April 1st, 2010 at 12:26 AM ^

Performance clauses are prominent in football because that is a bigger business. I am sure this happens in basketball, too, but not as much as football.

College hockey, not so much. Even if they did though, there are a couple of problems with suing:

1. Regardless of whether they break the other rules or not, IIRC the call of the referee is considered the final word one way or another. The referee could declare a team down 3-1 the winner after two periods if he wanted to. This would lead to a firing, riot, and probably a rematch, but regardless could technically happen. For this reason, no matter how BS the call, it is technically considered legal and therefor would negate any grounds for a lawsuit.

2. Red wouldn't do that even if he could. He coaches because he loves hockey, he loves his players, and he loves Michigan. I would even wager that he is one of the lower paid coaches in hockey because he does not ask for any raises. He's perfectly content with his year-by-year contract that allows him to retire whenever he wants. Neither for money or principal would he sink to suing over a heinous call. He's perfectly fine with burning them for it later and beating the benefiting team into a pulp later.

Captain Obvious

April 1st, 2010 at 10:50 AM ^

Performance bonuses are based on objective criteria - they are either met or they aren't. Also there are causation issues here - that one play didn't happen in a vacuum. Courts would be unwilling to extend liability in a case like this. It would likely require MUCH heavier facts, like a well-supported finding that the officials actively conspired to give the game to Miami and deny UM the playoffs. Even then, it's not clear the ref even owed a duty here - it's almost like suing a judge for not ruling in your favor. Torts was so long ago, it seems.


March 31st, 2010 at 11:59 PM ^

No, not that Miami......... Just wondering why you need to post your love for Miami on a UofM blog.. Go post that crap where other people care. When you do it here it just makes you a DB. Yes, that Douche Bag...........


April 1st, 2010 at 12:57 AM ^

I believe he's been around for a while and has been very clear that he's a Michigan fan. Just because he's also a Miami hockey fan and attempted to make a valid point and got inexplicably negged for it does not make him a douchebag.

Now the second negbomb comment was kinda douchey and worthy, so yeah, whatever.

Anyway, I'll stop breaking the first rule of MGoBlog.


April 1st, 2010 at 1:40 AM ^

It happens. It just looks like sour grapes and poor excuses coming from Red doing this. Can't blame the refs that we didn't win.

Monocle Smile

April 1st, 2010 at 1:57 AM ^

he just wants an explanation because he wasn't given one. At the very least, a thorough explanation from the NCAA or HockeyEast is deserved.

Waiving off a regulation goal that should stand "happens" and whatever. Bullshit, but keep playing.

Waiving off an OVERTIME goal that could potentially end the game then and there is a different story.

I've done my fair share of ref-bashing, but this is the only game in which I've actually blamed the officials for a loss, and only due to the double standard they put on goalie possession (see Miami goal #2) OR a lack of knowledge of the rule about delayed penalties (a puck touching the goalie of a team with a delayed penalty call does not constitute a whistle. This is explicitly stated in the rule book).


April 1st, 2010 at 10:32 AM ^

It's my personal observation that hockey refs are in general the worst of the big 5 (I include soccer because in many parts of the country it is bigger than hockey). I recall a few years ago in a critical Red Wings playoff game, an obvious kick into the goal was allowed to stand despite instant reply. I also recall a playoff game where the Wings had a one goal lead late against Anaheim, and a weak obstruction penalty was called on one of our players. They of course tied the game, and then won it in OT.

What was probably even worse about the penalty was that I actually figured that the refs would call some penalty on us, rather a good call or not, before they did. The inconsistency of the Refs has actually made it impossible for me to follow the Wings with any real emotion. Why pour emotion into a sport where you never know when a Ref is going to make a stupid call and thereby throw the game to the other team?

I haven't watched much college hockey, but I am guessing that it is refereed nearly as badly as the NHL.


April 7th, 2010 at 6:03 AM ^

CCHA refs, along with Big Ten football and basketball refs, ARE ABOUT AS USELESS as comb for Michael Jordan! I remember seeing M hockey games where one of the Sheegos brothers called icing on Michigan, WHILE THEY WERE SHORT HANDED! I've seen so many games down at the Joe by Steve Piotrowski, where he basically tries to get a team back into the game. And that team called Spartans usually always scored on the powerplay! I remember when they first put replay in the Big Ten, I heard the head of officials say this shocking statement. "We usually blow 7 to 10 calls a game, and replay should really improve our officiating"!
WTF! And now, they won't change a call because they don't want to show another ref up and make him look bad. And these SORRY-PUKE-I WANNA BE ON TV-NEVER SEEN A STREET GAME-I SUCK Big Ten refs, really hurt Big Ten teams with their officiating. You know you suck as a league when ED HIGHTOWER is your best ref! I remember him when he didn't have hair, AND HE STILL SUCKED!